Upcoming Events In Western Mass
We strive to post the most current and accurate event information but changes and cancellations do occur so please check the official event website to confirm all details.
When you think back to some of your favorite childhood moments, very few of them probably happened when you were sitting at home watching TV. Instead, your most poignant memories probably revolve around that time you ended up with the home run ball at a baseball game, and the crowd cheered and you felt like a rock star, or at least like Babe Ruth.
Or maybe it was that time your family attended The Big E together and your dad bought you cotton candy and let you get all sticky-faced, and you watched your mom beat the midway games, and you felt like your heart was going to overflow with contentment and happiness.
In Western Massachusetts, events bring us together to celebrate our successes and recollect on our heritage. We’ve put together a list of some of the top yearly events in Massachusetts, things we and our local friends love doing to feel connected to our area and our community.
Top Yearly Western Massachusetts Events
Because of the beautiful area where we live, there are distinct Western Massachusetts-specific events that take place in each and every season. From leaf peeping in the fall to river rafting in the spring to skiing in the winter, you can find a wide range of things to do throughout the year, and some of our local events reflect the joyous beauty of our seasons.
Top Western Massachusetts Events for Spring
Springfield Annual Pancake Breakfast
Does anything scream “neighborly get-together more than a pancake breakfast? If your mouth is already watering over the thought of fluffy, buttery, syrupy goodness, you’re not going to want to miss the Springfield Annual Pancake Breakfast, typically hosted in May in downtown Springfield.
Bring your appetite, because it’s billed as the World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast, and be ready to feast on both good food and friendly conversation.
Paradise City Arts Festival (Northampton)
This Paradise City Arts Festival is ranked among the best in the country, and includes exhibits from more than 250 artists in all mediums. Artists flock to Western Massachusetts from around the country to be part of this visually dazzling display.
Come out to enjoy the weather that’s not quite summer, not quite spring, and stay to buy way too much from the vast selection of contemporary art pieces on display.
Brimfield Outdoor Antique Show
With spring in the air, you’ll want to get out and enjoy the largest outdoor antique and collectible show in the country. The Brimfield Outdoor Antique Show features over 5000 dealers throughout the quaint country town of Brimfield. And once is never enough – they do this in July and September, too!
Top Western Massachusetts Events for Summer
Baseball Season Opening Night
Baseball is the quintessential American pastime, and there’s really nothing that can top the nostalgia of being present on opening night.
The Westfield Starfires and Valley Blue Sox will kick off their seasons right at the start of the summer, and both promise to bring plenty of excitement to the community. Be sure you arrive ahead of gametime to root, root, root for the home team.
Yankee Candle Christmas in July
We love the unforgettable scents of the holiday season. Fir and balsam, spicy gingerbread, warm apple cider – the list could go on and on.
So naturally, Christmas in July is a must. At the flagship Yankee Candle Village, you can enjoy the holiday season, snap selfies with Santa (who might have traded in his traditional red velvet for a more relaxed Hawaiian shirt vibe) and enjoy crafting with Mrs. Claus.
It’s just what you need to get a little dose of holiday spirit and deal with the fact that you probably won’t be decorating your tree for at least a couple more months.
Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement
Meet Basketball’s best in the birthplace of the sport! Each summer, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrines the best in the sport in Springfield. Rub elbows with the greatest to play the game and save time for a tour of the Hoop Hall.
Top Western Massachusetts Events for Fall
The Big E
Would this even be a reliable listing of Western Massachusetts events if The Big E weren’t included? The community gathering, more formally known as the Eastern States Exposition, is the biggest and best county fair you could imagine.
Every fall, The Big E brings together amazing food, parades, musical entertainment, agricultural exhibitions, car shows and more. There’s so much to see, do and taste – you’ll need more than one day to fully enjoy all The Big E has to offer.
Six Flags New England’s Fright Fest
Each autumn, Six Flags New England transforms into a fright-filled funzone for teens and adults. You’ll find scary shows, walk-through attractions and thrill rides that make the most of the season.
Top Western Massachusetts Events for Winter
The Springfield Thunderbirds are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League affiliated with the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues. Based in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Thunderbirds play their home games at the MassMutual Center.
Springfield, Parade of the Big Balloons
Can’t quite make it to New York City for the Thanksgiving parade? We’ve got you covered, with the Parade of the Big Balloons in downtown Springfield.
Enjoy bands, community gatherings and balloons that represent the best Western Mass has to offer – our favorite is definitely the 75-foot Cat in the Hat balloon.
Bright Nights at Forest Park
Holiday memories are made at Bright Nights at Forest Park. It’s just not the holiday season until you’ve driven through this holiday lighting extravaganza! Look for Santa’s Magical Forest, Dinosaur World and Seuss Land – it’ll become an annual tradition after the first mile.
Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Run, walk or float over to the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This celebration of Irish heritage brings more than 400,000 guests to the community for a parade, music, food and fun.
It also includes traditional performances by the Holyoke Caledonian Pipe Band and the Road Race, Western New England’s largest race (featuring a 10k, a 2 mile walk and a Kids Fun Run).
Community events help us to celebrate what we have in common – a love of the arts, of sport, of nature. The human connection these events create is so important to both mental and physical well-being.
If you’d like to learn more about these community events and dozens of others coming up in Western Mass, or about the top yearly events in Massachusetts, check out our Events listings and customize a schedule just for you. Or, contact us, and let our team of knowledgeable locals help you prepare for a fun and unforgettable Western Mass adventure.
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Wistariahurst Museum, Historic Trees
September 9 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm EDT
Over the course of the summer Wistariahurst and the Holyoke Department of Conservation and Sustainability teamed up to conduct an Inventory of Holyoke’s Historic Trees. The inventory documented significant trees in Holyoke based on their historical, biological, seasonal and sentimental significance. Now finished, the project has culminated in a new map and interpretive tour of the Holyoke landscape. The new Guide to Holyoke’s Historic Trees will launch on Thursday, September 9th with a public gathering in the Wistariahurst gardens at 238 Cabot Street, from 4:30pm-6:30pm. Copies of the new Guide will be available for attendees to take home, alongside light refreshments and opportunities to talk with the lead researcher. Attendees are encouraged to register for this free event at www.Wistariahurst.org.
This event is free and open to all. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged so that we may ensure the proper number of guidebooks are available.
The guide encourages users to see the local landscape in a new way, recognizing Holyoke’s fantastic collection of trees and their immense benefits to local citizens. The guide also uncovers living trees’ connections to important moments in Holyoke’s history, and hopes to provide some new insight into the important role trees have, and continue to play in Holyoke.
The project is a small part of a larger Urban Forest Equity Plan recently produced by the Department of Conservation and Sustainability funded with a Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Grant. The plan will advance the city’s on-going goal to mitigate the impacts of climate change, including localized flooding, stormwater pollution, air quality, and urban heat island effect, all of which can be impacted by tree placement and the urban tree canopy.
The Historic Tree Inventory is an off-shoot of this effort that dives into the landscape history of Holyoke and has provided multiple ways for the public to engage directly with the efforts. The project will continue collecting public input at September 9th’s event.
Named after the wisteria vine that flowers in May, Wistariahurst was home to two generations of the Skinner family who loved to garden. Begun by Sarah Skinner in the late 19th Century and then transformed by her daughter Belle Skinner in the early 20th, the grounds and gardens have always been an integral part of the life and activities at Wistariahurst.
Wistariahurst is the former home of William Skinner, a prominent silk manufacturer and was built in 1874.
Gardens and Grounds
The gardens and grounds at Wistariahurst are maintained for your enjoyment. The public is welcome dawn until dusk. Feel free to bring a book, a picnic, or walk to see what is in bloom. We ask that everyone refrain from sports with projectiles (frisbee, baseball, etc.) for the protection of our historic windows.
The gardens are free and can be accessed via the Cabot St. Lions entrance (through the wrought iron gate) and via our Beech St. driveways (path is between the two buildings).
All are welcome to schedule a mansion tour with our staff! Visit the first and second floors of the historic building, learn more about the lives of those who lived there, and tales of Holyoke’s past.
We ask that tour groups be limited to no more than no more than 8 people (we will gladly accommodate solo guests!) Call 413-322-5660 or email [email protected] to schedule.